Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Gifts: Exquisite painterly bags


I fell in love at first sight with these one-of-a-kind painterly tote bags last spring. Leslie Oschmann, a former visual director at Anthropologie, relocated to Amsterdam and founded Swarm, her home-based atelier. Leslie scours the flea markets of Holland and Belgium for vintage oil paintings and re-uses them in various ways.   

 See information here

The carry bags have sturdy leather handles and are each a unique work of art. The small bags measure 13" x 18" and the large bags measure 15' x 15" x 5".

See information here


(This may just be a gift for myself...)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Gifts: Shaved chocolate?

PlumSiena will be offering unusual holiday gift ideas throughout the next few weeks and I have a fun one to start off with!

Wouldn't you love to receive this great little gadget? Shave your chocolate. Create away... and then let it melt in your mouth. 


"Le Carrousel" is from a fabulous Parisian chocolatier in the 6th arr., Jean-Charles Rochoux.

You can purchase Le Carrousel here or here.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dark and gorgeous

I'm loving Windsor Smith's fabulous powder room's walls, as seen in the latest issue of Rue magazine. 

The color is rich and the velvet texture is so lush. You've got to run your hand on it!


Tomorrow begins PlumSiena's holiday gifts celebration!

Join me in the quest for the charming, the captivating and the wow in gifts for yourself and your special ones.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Painted scrollwork

These are the loveliest shutters. 
The painted scrolls and charming border set the shutters off perfectly.

Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Unconventional Toile

Toile seems to be everywhere these days. Walls, drapery, accessories... you name it, it's there. 

Today, I think I'll take the sofa and handbag in traditional red and white.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

With many thanks

Family, friends and God's green earth with all that it offers us- I am thankful for these.

French Country Living

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beauty in decay

This gorgeous photo was taken by Frankfurter photographer, Michael Himpel, in the Villa Eulalia of Old Havana, Cuba. Isn't the room hauntingly beautiful? 

The Villa is now run by the Cuban Ministry of Education.

 Lumas Gallery offers many works of art for sale to collectors. Himpel's stunning photos can be seen here


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

I love these walls

This cool bathroom of Mike Kennelly and Ben Bladel has many interesting elements: the walnut table with a granite vessel sink, the slate-tiled shower with a frameless door and the wall finish combine to create a masculine space.   

The wall's iron paint has been treated with an acid to create the rust patina.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amazing medieval copper

While on a recent trip to Italy, we encountered this amazing, bigger-than-life size exhibition of copper. Not what you might think. We walked into this medieval battle with horses and knights and hooded passersby. We did a double take.

The exhibit stands in the courtyard of the Communal Palace (Palazzo del Comune). The exhibit was created by Sara Bolzani and Nicholas Zamboni and is named The Humanity. It presents a unique vision of the Middle Ages, with each form expressing great emotion and incredible detail.

Look at the beautiful copper patina!

Up close:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Care for a bath?

 A zinc and copper tub to die for in this elegant bathroom! 
Again, the creation of Parisian designer Frederic Mechiche.
The tiled floor, painted mural and Mechiche's choice of objets lend the air of antiquity and glamour.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cool alligator skin finish

Check out this fabulous alligator skin finish 
Florida artist Brenda Brunderman
did on this drum! 

Love the colors as well as the texture.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet accessories

A limed wood carving, 
   a rusted sconce, 
      and an iron birdcage 
            = sweet accessories!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beauty under the staircase

Parisian designer  Frederic Mechiche transformed this space under his staircase into a refuge of beauty. 

The classic columns and urn, along with the silk sateen sofa, add elegance to his book collection.

Wouldn't you love to read your favorite book there?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is a rug?

The rug companies are creating amazing works of art lately!

Here is a silk and wool combination from ABC Carpet and Home that is prettier than wallpaper. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gorgeous Gilding

This gorgeous, gilded crown molding hangs in the Villa Farnesina, a treasure trove of art in the Trastevere section of Rome. The Villa was built between 1508 and 1511 and contains striking frescoes by Raphael and his followers. It also contains fabulous grottesca!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plaster remnants

Artist Carin Gerard's living room in California contains several large plaster remnants that were salvaged from the ceiling of an old French castle. 

Aren't they wonderful?

Here are a couple close-ups:

Over in Oxfordshire, England, James Perkins became entranced with plaster remnants when he was a teenager and has been collecting ever since. He is now sharing his extensive collection in a country house that he has restored. Aynhoe Park is open for special events rentals. 

How cool would that be to have a party amidst the history? 

Nine new casts, taken from the originals, are now available at The Conran Shop.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Illuminating Memories

Porta Romana's lamps and sconces are a wonderfully creative collection that is bound to make us smile. Their combinations of gold, silver and a sense of humor are charming.

Here's a peek:

    Giraffe Lamp 
(for some reason not available in the US, but in the rest of the world)

 Duck Feet Lamp ( a limited edition with 24 carat gold leaf and a 14" goose feather shade)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A contemporary pattern... from the year 1280

It amazes me how talented the artists and artisans were many centuries ago.

This thoroughly contemporary pattern is part of the magnificent ceiling in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the Gothic church that stands a block from the Pantheon in Roma.

Here is more of the ceiling:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cool coffee table

With its aged wood, chunky hardware and faded paint, this coffee table would be perfect for the casual room. Like my family room! No need to worry about the shoes on this piece.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bookshelf envy

These steel shelves extend 100 feet in the lower level of a house to accommodate the owner's large book collection. 

I could also use every inch!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Now this is a lacquered wall!

I am in awe! 
Creating a good lacquered wall is challenging and requires precise steps.

Don't you think they did a great job?
Cool color, too!

Stephen Sills

Monday, November 8, 2010

A frame like no other

The wood, the scrolls, the stone- I love it all!
As seen on a church in Orvieto, Italy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What is this?

I like this new finish created with metallic waxes. It looks like rust, but is very smooth to the touch.

The diagonal line across the middle denotes the beeswax topcoat from the acrylic wax topcoat.

Here was my studio open house yesterday:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bye bye Fall 2010

We had a long and lovely fall this year. My container plants are still flowering, but after Friday's sleet and cold, the leaves will be down in no time.


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